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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 29, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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♪ >> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives.
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we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? ♪ >> and now "bbc world news america. >> this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am katty kay. the state of the union, president obama hits the road a day after laying out his priorities to the american public. ukraine's parliament offers amnesty to demonstrators who have been arrested, but first they must vacate the building they have been occupying. and could a simple procedure create stem cells? researchers have found it works in mice and are looking at the human possibilities.
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welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. president obama wasted no time today and acting one of the promises he made last night in the state of the union address. he used the power of an executive order to create a new savings plan for people who do not have retirement plans, but how much more can he get done at home or abroad? in a moment, we will talk to senior white house officials, but first, here is a report from the bbc. >> from the opulence of the white house to the car park of costco, the president went to middle america to connect his words from last night to the people they were aimed at. >> hello, maryland. >> a campaign event, and gone are the days of the audacity of hope, but barack obama can still turn a phrase.
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it is turning around his presidency that is the problem. >> the president of the united states. >> be gridlocked congress continuously blocked his path. >> i am eager to work with all of you, but america does not stand still, and neither will i, so wherever and whenever i can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more american families, that is what i am going to do. >> his overriding theme was the growing gap between the rich and poor, where the american dream could easily become an empty promise. >> the cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of the recovery, too many americans are working harder just to get by, let alone get ahead. >> he was talking about reforms, including a rise in the minimum wage for a small amount of somenment contractors, and say he is to blame it. >> the president talks about income inequality, but the real
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cap we face is one of opportunity inequality. >> on the streets of anacostia, a washington neighborhood that the president has often used as a backdrop to highlight inequality. accused of handouts, always worse at the end of the month when the food stamps run out. >> to say everything will be all right. to go along with some of the stuff he has put out there. >> he is one man. he don't run the country. >> for all the talk of going alone and flying so low, the president was held captive by the broken politics of washington, and that is not likely to change for his three remaining years in office. it explains the discrepancy in his speech, between a big theme, the survival of the american dream, and his small and piecemeal proposals. for is fast running out
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elegant words to be matched by deeds. bbc news, washington. >> for more on the president's speech and the challenges ahead, speaking of foreign policy, i spoke a short time ago with the deputy national security advisor out the white house. the speech clear in last night that there wasn't an overriding domestic policy for obama. three years left in office. is there an overriding foreign- policy priority? >> well, yes, i do think so. i think what you heard the president say is we had a challenge of winding down this decade of war we have been in. we have been in iraq and in afghanistan this year, and doing so in a way where we can remain vigilant against terror threats but having a more sustainable framework so we are not on a permanent war footing, as the president said, and that involves working on the counterterrorism tools but also elevating our diplomacy on
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things like iran and palestinian peace, using all parts of the american power so we are advancing our interests and dealing with threats but doing so in a more sustainable way. >> it is interesting that you start with the middle east and the wars, because a lot was done in the administration with the pivot of the asia-pacific region, but i think i am right that in the state of the union in an hour-long speech, the word china was only mentioned twice. what has happened to that asia- pacific? >> it is still connected to what we are doing in the middle east and with the wars, but what we have always said is iraq and , resources and time and attention of policymakers so we can focus, as the president said last night, on the opportunities in the world, and chief among those opportunities is the asia-pacific region, where we are negotiating a partnership, and we are also making sure that our posture matches the 21st century, so
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part of turning the page in war is also refocusing american priorities. >> ok, let me ask you about the iran comments. this is the first time that he has said he would veto any bill that came from congress proposing new sanctions on iran. today, you have a republican senator, marco rubio, pushing back against that, saying there stood -- should still be sanctions on them. >> well, we made very clear to the senate and to the congress we will do that if the deal is violated by the iranians or if we do not reach a final agreement, but we have made it clear we will not accept the sanctions imposed by congress enacted during the negotiations to derail the negotiations, and we have also thatsome light joe manchin have looked at the sanctions and say they do not think it is time to bring it to a vote, that they
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chance give diplomacy a to succeed, so we want to make sure that everyone knows where the president is on this. >> the president came to office in the first week saying he would close guantánamo bay, and here you are six years later, saying you still want to close it. can it be done? >> yes, this is about getting off of a permanent war footing. we have also worked with congress to loosen some of the restrictions that were placed on our ability to have those go forward, but what the president said last night is this is the year that we are winding down the at -- war. we should use this window as a time to get this done and close the prison, so we are going to do whatever we can to continue the transfers of that the cheney population, to bring to justice through various means the prison population there and to work with congress to get the authority we need to make sure we can close the prison. >> jeff beatty national security
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adviser at the white house, thank you. >> thank you. >> tonight, ukraine's parliament offered a surprise amnesty deal for protesters who have been arrested, that it will only take effect if demonstrators will clear out of the buildings they are occupying in the center of kiev, so will that help solve the political crisis that is tearing the capital apart? a short time ago, i spoke to someone in kiev. you think this latest offer from parliament will make these protesters go home? >> i think tonight the political remains veryaine much. they have not managed to come to find a deal that everyone would sign up to. yes, an amnesty law has been passed, and the amnesty law means the protesters have been
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detained by the riot police and are potentially facing charges, and they will be released under this amnesty, but crucially only if the protesters give up the buildings, government buildings, which they have occupied. when this vote took place in parliament just an hour or so ago, opposition largely voted against this law. it was the ruling party who ated in favor, and despite whole day of discussions and debate about how to get everyone on board with this. in the last half an hour, the spoke toleaders, they the crowd behind me in independence square, where he said the fight will go on. he knows that the men in the barricades, the men who had taken control of those government buildings, they do not want to give them up, unless the president stands down. >> duncan, why are these bit of
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-- building so critical to the demonstrators? because the demonstrations have spread, and as far as they are concerned, this is about a revolution. speaking to some of the men taking control of the buildings, they are not trying to change the government anymore. they want president yanukovych to step down. a month or so ago, they offered peopleions, but because have died, because so many hundreds of protesters have been injured, riot police, as well, people's passions have been inflamed, and they say they are not going anywhere unless president yanukovych resigns. if the deal is not reached soon, the country is on the verge of civil war. >> duncan there in kiev, thank you very much for those latest developments coming in from ukraine. government today
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said they will take in several hundred syrian refugees with priority being given to women and children who have been victims of violence. hundreds of syrian's are leaving the country every day, and millions are living in neighboring countries. our correspondent reports from jordan for us. time,ht up until closing this refugee center is busy. 2000 syrian's are here. exhausted, they have made it this far. one of the biggest donors of humanitarian aid, britain helped build the center, and now they will offer some of the most needy from syria shelter. iside these temporary rooms a man who can't talk of the terror that his family had endured to get here from homs -- he can speak to it.
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his daughter, he has not seen her in years. in tears, he cannot go on. the help from britain is vital, says britain. quite obviously, many of the refugees are victims of torture, sexual violence, both women and men, and there are people with special medical needs, and britain has the train doctors, the psychologists, the other facilities to care for this small number of people. she is escape from a jail in damascus, where she said she was tortured and raped again and again by policeman. even here in jordan, she does not feel safe. >> i want a country that will respect me as a human being. of course, britain is a country that respects human rights and will take care of me. what more can i ask for? >> others are struggling to
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cope. britain offering to help some of the worst cases is comforting, but some refugees do not want to stray far from serious, which is their home despite the hopelessness of the situation there. many hope to be turned one day. in syrian war has no end sight. this syrian refugees will keep coming. as their suffering goes on, the rest of the world, britain included, may be asked to do more to keep them safe. refugees still with no place to go. today, the u.s. federal reserve chairman, ben bernanke, talked about plans from pulling back from stimulating the american economy. he says the $10 billion cuts are stronger now due to a stronger on agile outlook, but the news made the market a little nervous, the dow jones falling nearly 200 points. for more, i am joined by the chief bbc economic correspondent, linda you -- yu.
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they do not seem quite convinced of what the fed is doing. >> that is right, and i think there is probably an important distinction to make. one, of course, ben bernanke in his last meeting has set out a case for essentially ending quantitative easing, and that is the cash injection program, taking $10 billion out of the say,my, trimming, i should from 70 $5 billion to $65 billion, and that means that qe will likely end this year. the reason people are nervous about it is twofold. once, they want to see what will happen with interest rates. will rates go up? rates going up is technically not good for borrowing costs and also a rather fragile american recovery. the second reason is if you look at the emerging economy, the end of qe, there is a big question
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hanging over those countries ranging from south africa to india to turkey, which is are they prepared. they were very worried about that, as well. are standing in front of the u.s. treasury. are there concerns that if they start pulling the qe drug back from the countries that are addicted to cheap credit, there could be a knock on effect around the world which brings down the global economy? well, there is certainly a concern that as the fed is very focused on the u.s. economy, and that is, indeed, its mandate, with little explicit consideration taking -- taken of the world economy, it does not take enough heat to what happens in emerging economies, so, for africa,, brazil, south india, indonesia, and turkey,
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the five, with large deficits, they need money to go into their borders. if the fed should start to see the rates rising, countries like turkey have raised their rates to 10%, more than doubling what it was before to attract many to continue to fund themselves, and if they cannot fund themselves, it erases the specter of a currency crisis and a potential rescue, and that is why short- term money goes into the economy, it can do some good, but the reversal of that flow has been a trigger for a number of the emerging market crises over the past decades, and, in fact, the real concern, but if you ask economists at the fed, they will say their focus is on the u.s., and to some extent, the emerging markets should have figured that since ben bernanke signaled this last may, they would do this at some point. it has, after all, been five years since the great recession.
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for some to watch time. >> ok, linda or us at the treasury. you are watching bbc world news. still to come on the program, the u.n. warns of education crisis around the world, and we take you to a place where they are struggling to learn skills. states, athern united rare snowstorm has brought traffic to a standstill, including georgia, where a state of emergency was declared. in atlanta, nearly 800 accidents. we have more. is a city at a standstill, brought to its knees by just over two inches of snow. it started falling yesterday afternoon, just as office workers and school had started to make their way home, and the snarl multiplied, so the snow turned to ice, and suddenly, no one was going anywhere fast.
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>> how far have you gone in eight hours? >> one mile. >> the last hours of seen more injuries,elisions, and one death. some drivers abandoned their vehicles. others have been stuck in them the entire time. for children who spent the night in this school gymnasium were the lucky ones. others had to hunker down on the school bus. the irony is all of this could have been avoided if the officials had heeded the weather system warnings some nine hours earlier. the same officials are now engaged in a frantic game of passing the buck. blame anyone.t mother nature has a mind of its own, and it does is what it chooses to do, and even with the best of forecasting, i do not think anybody could have totally predicted this would happen in this magnitude within the short window of time within which it occurred. >> atlanta has been down this
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same icy road before. three years ago, a similarly light snow flurry brought the city to a standstill for the best part of a week. it will be difficult to clear the cars before the ice starts to thought, and that will not happen for several days. bbc news, washington. >> the world is facing a global education crisis, according to the united nations today, and in pakistan, the situation is particularly dire as the bbc reports. >> coming to the end of a hard where he should be at primary school. instead, he and his friends have been up since dawn, harvesting sugarcane and preparing it to store. sure exactly how old
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he is, and from what he told us, he barely understands the concept of what a school is. he is not the only one. it appeared the farming around here was being done entirely by young children. every one of them said they knew no one who was getting an education. one person did know what a school was. go to school, to he told us back in the village, but because there is not one in this area, i will never be able to. they have been given huge amounts of foreign aid, including from the british government. why are so many children missing out on schooling? here is one reason. this is a government girls school in a village, or, at least it would be if it was not for corruption. this is what is known around here as a ghost school. someone, somewhere is getting
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government funds for teachers and facilities, but it is not being spent here, and no children are benefiting, and this is just one such goal -- ghost school of some 22 in this small area which, not surprisingly, has one of the lowest literacy rates in all of pakistan. lapses, certain lapses on the part of the officials, certain lapses on the part of the teachers, and the monitoring has to be improved. >> many have had enough of the promises. class underhas her a tree, offering free lessons. it has been decided to do what is right and avoid corruption, the only way is to bypass the government completely. there are not nearly enough people like him to help the millions of children who are in need. bbc news.
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>> scientists in boston and in japan say that a simple lap treatment can turn ordinary cells from mice into valuable stem cells. it is being seen as a breakthrough. i spoke earlier to one of the researchers involved, dr. charles -- thank you for joining me. what exactly did you do with these cells to get this result? to doically, what we try was mimic mother nature and exposed the cells to an environment similar to what you see after a simple injury. >> and how did you do it? >> we actually took cells from the animals, first demonstrated that they were mature, normal cells, and then we put them into different environments that would cause stress to the cells almost to the point that they died. what we found is one of the most effective stresses was to put the cells in an acid solution, basically very similar to the
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acid-base balance of tissue after it is injured. >> it sounds kind of remarkably simple, and i am sort of wondering, if it is that easy, why no one has done it before? >> so, it is remarkably simple. >> not to take away from your breakthrough, but i was just wondering. >> exactly. we have been working on this concept for over 10 years, and we have been curious for years why it has not been introduced create a number of stem cells have been described in various tissues, and my brother and i looked at these various reports, and we started to wonder if they are actually finding cells in these tissues, or are they making cells from these tissues, and then we looked at the similarities between the environment in which the scientists isolated these, they were very harsh environments, and they thought
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they were killing mature cells, and they were very similar to the very harsh environment you see in tissue after it is injured, so we postulated that perhaps stem cells are not sitting there waiting to be recruited after an injury, but the cells are possibly being created by mature cells that are responding to the injury. >> ok, dr., how far is it from what you have announced today to this being possible in humans? >> so, it is actually very close. we have actually taken, in our laboratory, he had taken skin fiber cells from humans and have demonstrated that we can, indeed, turn the cells back into stem cells using the same process. not documented it with the same rigor that we did with what came out in the papers today. those will take weeks if not months to do, what thus far, these cells behave in an
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identical fashion to the cells we treated in mice. greg's actor, fascinating news and a great breakthrough. congratulations on your work. >> thank you so much. >> a remarkable breakthrough, and that brings our program to a close. it's so much for watching. i will see you back here tomorrow. ♪ >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity in pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. ♪ >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industries you
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operate in. working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key, strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? ♪ >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> wooduff: a deep freeze and snow crippled the south; thousands stranded in cars overnight and into today; kids forced to sleep at school or stuck on buses. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead this wednesday, we get capitol hill reaction to president obama's state of the union address. from senators jeff flake of arizona and tim kaine of virginia. >> wooduff: and margaret warner reports from germany on the growing outrage over u.s. spying. those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:

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